RISE UP – The Anti-Confederate Statue Campaign

Introduction

Aside from the Civil Rights Movement and related events, marches, and public demonstrations in the 50s and 60s, and apart from the Vietnam War protests, for nearly a half-century, the United States has not experienced the current national outrage and civil unrest as a consequence of George Floyd’s death by a police officer.

Mr. Floyd’s murder has initiated a reckoning of America’s real history, related to African Americans and slavery. There is now a [much needed and long overdue] re-evaluation of the memorialization of particular historical, cultural, and political figures, throughout this country and those with Confederacy lineages.

Historical Monuments Memorialize Horrible Truths

In no small measure, these Confederate historical figures unarguably reinforce this nation’s endemic, and until now, passive acceptance of systemic racism. However, what has become increasingly clear, these same heretofore revered individuals, on the other hand, indisputably were hypocrites.

Many of these lionized and idolized individuals, it has increasingly become clear, embraced, fostered, or practiced the barbaric act of slavery. This very act inherently embodies racism, racist ideas, and ideologies. These finally unveiled prejudiced values that insinuated its way into this country’s DNA has been unmasked.

The Hypocrisy of History

To be clear and direct, it is now indisputable and irrefutable that many of the founding fathers, and others of the elevated business and political class, in the nation’s formative years, were slave owners. It is against this backdrop and recently-raised consciousness, and present-day context that the RISE-UP campaign has been created.

The RISE-UP campaign creates an exquisitely creative manner, with the added value of poetic justice, in which to not only right the wrongs of the past but to set the public record straight by facing the legitimate ills of the past, that will powerfully and to some degree, commence public recognition of the real lives of the country’s forefathers and most importantly, reuse and repurpose the existing monuments and states that are being “taken down” and placed in storage.

“RISE-UP” — A Historical Reckoning 

The RISE UP campaign will commence the arduous and critical journey of not just recognizing and identifying but righting these social, moral, and civic injustices by reclaiming, recycling, and repurposing these now rightly disgraced, and disgraceful earlier century figures.

Rise Up will achieve extraordinary goals through the magnificent irony and poetic justice of repurposing the materials of which these “original” memorials were made and using them to create NEW memorials of African Americans and other people of color from each respective community. 

1. African Americans killed (if it applies, in a particular city) wrongly by a police officer.
2. African American’s of significant merit, achievement, and accomplishment.

Regardless of either instance above, new statues will be created by repurposing the materials of existing statues.

Specific individuals or events (to be potentially depicted) through the use of the RISE UP platform shall be decided according to the African American community’s unanimous wishes in each city where a memorial has been removed or is scheduled to be removed.

In addition to # 1 Above,

2. An artist – of diversity – as so identified by each city, shall be commissioned to repurpose said materials into a new memorial of unanimous consent by the black and diverse committees in each respective city.

According to the mission and goals of RISE Up, ideally, there shall be a commission afforded of a minimum of $50,000 to the artist so selected, providing an income to each selected artist, allowing the artist to work full time on each statue project.

Further, the final work shall be revealed for public display one year from the date of commission.

RISE-UP
Reclaim
Institutional 
Statues
Equality
Umbrella
Program

The RISE UP Program is a quintessential poetic justice twist of fate, turning toxic monuments that have lived for centuries whose goal was, and is, to memorialize Iconic symbols of Racism, Bigotry, and Slavery that will now, in society’s new era of social consciousness, become Shrines of Diversity, Social Justice, and Equality.

RISE UP – Further Guidelines and Considerations

Repurposed materials from existing confederate statues – turning them into either real-life busts or full-body representations of black persons killed by police in each city – or alternately to an agreed abstract design representative of the needless, senseless, tragic death of a black person.

Federal Level Monuments & Representation 

  • Historical irony marks the moment – confederate monuments to serve as raw materials repurposed for the national black lives monuments program commemorating African Americans killed in cities across the country.
  • A monument shall be erected in Washington, in federal property, not unlike the Veteran’s War Memorial or the Wall of Freedom in NYC for those who died in 911. 

Multi-Media Opportunities 

  • An index will be created that includes  updates from each city AFTER and WHEN artists have been selected to create new works of monuments and art in the various and respective cities. 
  • Document/film the ‘recreation and reconstruction” of the “new monument” in each city
  • After one year – after each artist in each city has been found and commissioned to produce the art – there will be an unveiling ceremony of the art in each city.

Multi-Path Plan

There are various approaches to implementing the RISE-UP Plan. The methods vary in the following manner:

There are various approaches to implementing the RISE-UP Plan. The methods vary in the following manner:

1. Most High Profile Approach

This approach takes into consideration two key/primary factors.

1. The death/killing of a black person/person of color by police officers in a specific city.

2. That the city in which this death took place is ALSO a town where “Confederate Monuments” have ALREADY been taken down/removed or is being contemplated;

a. The level of importance/priority for “Most High Profile Approach” is also further measured by whether or not — i. The monuments were removed by “members of society at large” – e.g., illegally during protests, rallies, etc.

b. Or whether or not the Monuments were removed through some local government agreement to remove the monument.

c. Regardless of sub a or b above, the question remains as to where the monument is now? If the memorial is in storage, it could be considered a very high-level candidate for the RISE-UP program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROJECT PROGRAM AS A CITY WITH AN EXISTING MONUMENT TO BE REMOVED, 

OR,  A CITY WHERE A MONUMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED AND IS CURRENTLY IN STORAGE, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM.

BELOW ARE VARIOUS AND SELECT MAINSTREAM NEWS ARTICLES CONCERNING THE “ANTI-CONFEDERATE STATUE MOVEMENT” IN THE UNITED STATES

Mellon Foundation to Spend $250 Million to Reimagine Monuments (New York Times)